The Normative Complexity of Private Security: Beyond Legal Regulation and Stigmatization

Math Noortmann, Juliette Koning

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This chapter discusses the normative complexity of private security. It formulates a critique of the stigmatization of private security companies and of the emphasis in the literature
    on the limitations of legal regulation, highlighting the role of self-regulation in the form of corporate ethics and (international) branch standards. Based on a review of scholarly
    literature, (inter)national cases, and examples from fieldwork in South Africa, the chapter captures the growing plurality of actors and voices in a vastly diversifying private security sector. In order to overcome the traditional bias regarding private security and
    its corporate sector, the authors advocate an organizational anthropological approach to uncover regulatory alternatives and the ethical and normative diversity that is essential to a comprehensive understanding of the privatization of security.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Law and Anthropology
    EditorsMarie-Claire Foblets, Mark Goodale, Maria Sapignoli, Olaf Zenker
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191876226
    ISBN (Print)9780198840534
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2020

    Publication series

    NameThe Oxford Handbook of Law and Anthropology


    • private security
    • stigmatisation
    • South-Africa
    • ethics
    • Security
    • organisational anthropology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Law
    • Political Science and International Relations


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